Indulge In Some Lovely Non-Traditional Ways To Celebrate The Holiday Season

By Dalton Higgins, Macaulay Child Development Centre
This upcoming holiday season can feel like a total blessing or a huge burden depending on what side of the fence you are sitting on. The blessing part seems quite obvious, as this is the lone time of year that most people are mandated to take a few days off from the daily grind to spend time with our kids— who are also sent packing from their schools to stay home for a few weeks. Many fathers who live in the concrete jungle (aka Toronto) struggle with this concept of being forced to take time off from Continue reading

Argos’ Marcus Ball on Striking a Balance between The Playoffs and Parenting

New Dad Marcus BallBy Dalton Higgins, Macaulay Child Development Centre

If you’ve ever been to a Toronto Argonauts game, or are a football fan in general, it must mean you love some form of physical contact. When linebackers or defensive backs deliver crushing blows to the opponent, you get that euphoric feeling comparable to when the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista hits a home run, or when the Raptors’ Terrence Ross performs a dazzling reverse dunk. And this brings me to Argo linebacker Marcus Ball. If you enjoy witnessing crunching, game-changing tackles, then this Norfolk, Virginia bred Ball is your man. I first caught wind of this super athlete Continue reading

At What Age Should Your Child Get A Cell Phone?

By Dalton Higgins, Macaulay Child Development Centre

In my book Fatherhood 4.0, I spend almost a whole chapter of the book explaining how a New Breed of Fathers are using their gadgets to connect with their kids, when they are at school, on field trips, or engaged in extracurricular activities. This communication style flies in the face of my parents’ generation who would simply issue a curfew and expect their kids to show up on time. No texts, instant messaging, Continue reading

School Is Back In Session, But Are You?

By Dalton Higgins, Macaulay Child Development Centre

Hey fathers, are you trying to get your mojo back? Y’know, that feeling that comes when everything, including your back to school routines with your kids, seems to be flowing as smooth as the water coming out of your tap? This could mean that the kids are now starting to wake up on time again (after sleeping in for much of their summer holidays), are getting their homework done, and are helping to pack their (hopefully healthy) lunches.
Sadly, many dads get a bad rap for not playing as important a role as they should be, when it comes to Continue reading

Do Your Kids Know How To React When Confronted By A Stranger or Authority Figure?

By Dalton Higgins, Macaulay Child Development Centre

Sadly, the leading newsmakers of the day have been young boys who have been killed by guns. From Trayvon Martin who was shot by George Zimmerman, and Sammy Yatim who was gunned down by Toronto Police officer James Forcillo, all the way to the buzzy new movie Fruitvale Station which is centred around Oscar Grant III getting shot by Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle, is there some teachable moment for our own kids buried within the 24-7 news coverage of these incidents?

The way all three of these young men died has come under much public scrutiny, so whether the justice system has or will fail them is another column. I’m thinking Continue reading

Health before Wealth?

By Dalton Higgins, Macaulay Child Development Centre

Do you sometimes feel like you are so completely wrapped up in the rat race, trying to make ends meet in the concrete jungle, that you actually get winded while playing any kind of physical activity with your child? I see it happen all the time, on playgrounds across Toronto. And it usually goes something like this. Son or daughter grabs (insert name of sport) ball away from father. Father attempts to chase child with said ball to achieve family athletic bragging rights. Father starts sucking wind within seconds, and Continue reading

Your Father’s Day Celebration Doesn’t Have To Be A Dud

By Dalton Higgins. Macaulay Child Development Centre

It’s time to face some facts fellas. When Father’s Day comes around in most households, it’s just not treated with as big of a deal in your household, as say Mother’s Day. When Mother’s Day rolls around, the world stops, and justifiably so, as our mothers gave birth to us. But as for the excitement building up around Father’s Day? Meh. And not to rub further salt in the wound, but some of the irony surrounding Father’s Day is that it was actually a woman named Sonora Louise Smart Dodd who invented the concept in Washington! While some might argue that both Mother’s and Father’s Day have become more of a great exercise in mass consumerism, than it is of a more permanent year round commemoration of all that parents do, many men willingly accept that there is a double standard when it comes to Continue reading

Parent Advocacy: Being a Voice for your Child

By Lorraine Kirlew, Macaulay Child Development Centre

More than a Haircut Sessions on Parent Advocacy –Speaking for Your Child, was a new topic to share with participants at the barbershops. To the group’s delight persons at all 4 sessions were engaged in spirited, honest and informative discussions…
Participants thought that the topic Parent Advocacy –Speaking for Your Child, was timely and relevant, and that there were important points they wanted to express and share with each other.
A father at the session on Friday May 3rd wanted fathers to understand that it is not enough to drop off and pick up your child/ren at school. He felt that it is important for fathers to develop relationships with other parents, teachers and people working at the school. In fact, he noted that “if you do not follow up with the school you may see your children ‘fall down’”. Then you may be correcting a problem that could have been avoided. As a father, “make a shift, become part of the conversations”.
There were at times 2 sides to the topic Continue reading

Black Educators and Business Leaders Are Standing Up For Your Kids

by Dalton Higgins, Macaulay Child Development Centre

Whoever thinks African-Canadian men and/or fathers aren’t diligently organizing themselves to become more committed community leaders and educators – outside of media sightlines – just aren’t tapped into the community beat. I was reminded of the tremendous efforts us brothers and our supporters of all stripes are engaged in when I recently attended the Stand Up: Young Men’s Conference that aimed to redefine “the colour of success” for our kids, with a focus on black and racialised boys.
A large group of anxious middle school kids from different parts of Toronto gathered at George Brown College on May 1st to be inspired by an awesome Continue reading

The Importance of Owning Up to your Mistakes

By Shaka Licorish, Macaulay Child Development Centre
adapted from http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/02/19/how-to-own-up-to-mistakes/

As individuals, not just as men or fathers, we can be prone to making mistakes for any number of reasons – it’s part of our life’s learning. However, it will be your ability to acknowledge and make sense of your mistakes that is likely to have a lasting affect with your family, friends, loved ones and employers, co-workers, colleagues and business partners.

Before we address why owning up to your mistakes is important, we first have to develop a sense of what prevents us from coming forward when we actually Continue reading